I published Elizabeth Chater's book, Emerald Love, on May 5 and by May 17 she had 0 sales. No sales for twelve days may not seem like a big deal, in fact it’s a reality for most of us; I've gone weeks without a sale of my sci book despite great reviews, but most of Elizabeth Chater's romance books sell at least a few copies in the first week. So what happened?
When I uploaded Emerald Love, I categorized it as Fiction - Historical.
After a few days of no sales, I lowered the price from 4.99 to 3.99. I know that similar historical dramas in the 150-200,000 word range are priced at 7.99-4.99 and I would put Emerald Love up against any of them, so I felt the price was justified. But after no sales, I began to doubt it. The other books priced at 2.99 were enjoying steady sales.
So I changed the price from 4.99 to 3.99.
A week went by. No sales.
I changed the cover.
I brought the price down to .99cents!
I checked the document, making sure it was formatted correctly. No errors, looked good. Then I went to her amazon page. The search results said she only had 10 romances available, seven historical, three regency. Where was the eleventh?
I had tagged the book: Romance, England, 1856, sepoy mutiny, etc. Why wasn't it listed as a romance?—because tagging doesn't put the book in Amazon's categorization system! So I went into the Bookshelf and discovered I had missed the "Romance" genre selection. I should have selected Fiction-Romance-historical. I made the change and re-uploaded it.
The next day there were two sales.
The moral of the story? Romance sells. And categorizing your book under romance on Amazon sells it. If there was any doubt the amazon categorization algorithms don't help, this should put that to bed. It proves that there's a big market for romance.
My next book…hunky aliens from Venus…